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Best Not to Remove Windows 98, Unless You Must

April 26, 2001|DAVE WILSON |

Q: I upgraded to Windows Me and would like to uninstall and get rid of Windows 98. How should I do it?

A: Unless you're really pressed for space on the hard drive, we don't recommend this. Windows 98 is not in use on your system, but if you've followed the normal upgrade procedure, the Windows Me installation has preserved your Win 98 system files on the hard drive to allow you to escape Win Me should you ever decide that upgrading was a bad idea. These stored files take up about 150 megabytes of space on the hard drive.

You can remove those files and get back the space, but that means there's no going back to Win 98 later without some heavy lifting on your part.

If you're sure you want to do this, hit Start, then Control Panel, then double-click Add/Remove Programs. Under the Install/Uninstall tab of the box that opens, you should see several choices, including these two: "Uninstall Windows Millennium"--which is what you do not want to do--and "Delete Windows Millennium uninstall information." Delete the uninstall stuff, and you'll recover the space.

Q: In the Favorites section of Internet Explorer 5.0, I used to get the icons from the companies listed. For instance, for Yahoo, I would get the big red tilted Y and the exclamation point. For Motley Fool, I would get a picture of the court jester. Now I get only the lowercase blue "e" with what looks like a piece of paper with a corner folded over. Do you know how to get the other icons back?

A: Some Web pages offer custom icons for the Favorites listing. These specialty icons, called Favicons, are usually attached to a Web page. To see what we're talking about, visit Netscape users can ignore this, since Favicons work only with Internet Explorer 5.0 and above.

Your Web browsing software uses a system called caching to store copies of Web pages and graphics on your hard drive. In the future, your browser can pull files off the local drive rather than download them off the Net, which can speed up your peregrinations through cyberspace. Favicons are stored on the hard drive in much the same way.

We suspect that your Favicons have been deleted from the cache, at which point they were replaced by the standard IE icon that you describe. To keep this from happening to Favicons, set up a file on your computer, copy your Favicons into that file, then right-click the mouse on the Favorite you want to associate with that Favicon, hit the Change Icon button, then the browse button, and make your selection.

We think the only reliable way to get the Favicon back is to delete the Favorite and return to the Web site, then add the URL to the Favorites list again.


Dave Wilson is The Times' personal technology columnist. Submit questions to Tech Q&A at

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